NEW YORK, NY — The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) recently announced that Yankee Stadium is the first sports and entertainment venue in the world to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. The rating requirements, which have been fulfilled by the club, serve as a blueprint for best operating procedures to help combat COVID-19, while also providing world-class standards for overall health and safety. The designation has been confirmed by a third-party verifier, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).
Launched in June and created by IWBI, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by guidance developed by the World Health Organization; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies; recognized standard-making bodies, such as ASTM International and ASHRAE; and leading academic and research institutions. IWBI has leveraged insights from its Task Force on COVID-19, established at the outset of the pandemic to help business and building leaders integrate actionable insights and proven strategies in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.
“Working with IWBI to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating allowed us to focus and implement the most effective and efficient methods known to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in both a workplace setting and a place where the general public will eventually gather again,” said Yankees Senior Vice President of Stadium Operations Doug Behar. “Given that the WELL criteria have been informed by renowned experts and standard-making bodies in this field gives us confidence that we are taking appropriate preventative measures to support the health and safety of our players, field staff, employees — and eventually fans. Reaching this level and receiving third-party verification from GBCI was a long and uncompromising road, but one that is clearly in the best interests of everyone who steps foot into Yankee Stadium.”
Yankee Stadium achieved the WELL Health-Safety Rating by implementing features across five categories:
- Air and water quality management, which includes the assessment of ventilation and fresh air supply through mechanical or natural means, and reviewing its inventory of all filters and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) equipment.
- Cleaning and sanitization procedures, including ensuring proper handwashing and surface contact by staff, improving cleaning practices and their frequency, and selecting cleaning products that disinfect without harmful ingredients.
- Emergency preparedness programs, which provide a blueprint for dealing with unforeseen events and providing an actionable plan for re-entry after an emergency event.
- Health service resources,which promote the well-being of employees through screening services, mental health services, seasonal vaccination programs and a smoke-free environment.
- Stakeholder engagement and communications, which include employing proper signage throughout Yankee Stadium and promoting health literacy to employees, partners and patrons, including food service safety verification.